A gentleman who was on a flight last month from London to Vancouver fell asleep while on the plane. I, not being able to sleep well at all under any circumstances – especially in a plane- am envious of those who can. Even more, this particular man fell asleep so soundly that he didn’t wake up once the plane landed, according to FoxNews.com as reported by The Sun. But here’s the real kicker, the plane crew deplaned without noticing the passenger still asleep and the plane was wheeled into the hangar!
Can you imagine the surprise and anxiety this poor man felt once he was awakened by the mechanic who came to work on the plane? The passenger began to hurry to get off the plane thinking the rest of the passengers had just deplaned. Turns out it was about an hour and a half later. The passenger went to the baggage claim and was happy that his bag was still there.
The passenger sent Air Canada, the airline involved, a letter to complain. Here is where my irritation is. While Air Canada did apologize, they offered him a 20% discount off his next plane ticket.
Now, I think that is just “plane” ridiculous! Seriously, 20%? Why even offer that? They should have given him much more. This plane crew clearly did not do their job and protect the safety of the passenger. They also apparently fell quite short of their responsibilities in the functions of the checklist required by all plane crews when deplaning.
I put myself in the place of this passenger. Let’s assume the mechanic was not the one to wake the passenger up and he awoke on his own. Can you imagine waking up in a darkened plane by yourself? Can you imagine waking up in a darkened plane by yourself and not being able to get out? (I’m assuming they close the plane doors when planes are in a hangar.) How would you get out? How would you let someone know you are on the plane? What if he had an appointment or meeting he had needed to get to? What if he had a medical condition that could have been adversely affected by this? Now, I’m not an alarmist by nature. I’m just considering all of the ramifications of this type of incident.
Again, my main consideration is to the passenger and the anxiety he must have felt for at least a short while. So, my point is that 20% to me seems like an insult. If I were a leader in Air Canada’s ranks, I would provide a round trip ticket for this passenger anywhere the airline flew. The airline did not do their job and take care of this passenger. Yes, they got him to his destination. But they didn’t do it well. They did only a halfway job by not ensuring he deplaned. Passengers fall asleep all the time and flight crews know that they need to be on alert for this.
This would have been a prime opportunity for the airline to admit it made a mistake and to show that they accepted full responsibility and to do everything they could to make it better than right for this passenger.